October 26, 2022

West Oakland Botany

A walking tour of the plant life under the freeways in west Oakland by a man with a non-California accent.

permalink | October 26, 2022 at 09:36 PM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2022

DHS to Burning Man

Video from my dashcam of my drive to Burning Man. Ignore the date/time stamp; it was set incorrectly.

permalink | September 19, 2022 at 09:05 PM | Comments (0)

August 5, 2022

1.7 Inches Of Rain In Death Valley Today

Reported on Snopes, of all places. All roads are closed. About 1,000 people are stuck inside the park. Sixty vehicles have been buried in debris.

permalink | August 5, 2022 at 05:53 PM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2022

6th Street Viaduct

There was a block party on the new 6th Street Viaduct in Los Angeles on July 9 and I went to it. It was open only from the Boyle Heights (eastern) end, and it only went to the edge of the L.A. River where a performance platform was set up for bands. There were about three more arches past that point that we couldn't get to. I took a lot of photos and the complete set is here. Some samples:
6th Street Viaduct Opening Day (2282)

6th Street Viaduct Opening Day (1456)

6th Street Viaduct Opening Day (5768)
The spiral ramp that will provide access to the park to be constructed under the bridge, east of the L.A. River

6th Street Viaduct Opening Day (5789)

6th Street Viaduct Opening Day (5807)

6th Street Viaduct Opening Day (6968)

6th Street Viaduct Opening Day (7016)

6th Street Viaduct Opening Day (7089)

6th Street Viaduct Opening Day (7778)

6th Street Viaduct Opening Day (7)
Besides the ramp, there will be stairways, but none are open yet

6th Street Viaduct Opening Day (13)
The neighborhood the bridge passes above

6th Street Viaduct Opening Day (25)

6th Street Viaduct Opening Day (36)

6th Street Viaduct Opening Day (7919)

6th Street Viaduct Opening Day (41)

6th Street Viaduct Opening Day (58)

6th Street Viaduct Opening Day (8413)

6th Street Viaduct Opening Day (5822)

6th Street Viaduct Opening Day (8525)
When I walked off the bridge I was surprised to see a lot of locals walking down the onramp to northbound 101
. I followed them and it turns out they all knew where the best spot was to get a sunset view of the bridge and downtown skyline.

permalink | July 26, 2022 at 07:13 PM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2022

No Musk Tunnel For Ontario

Good news! The Boring Company is no longer interested in building a tunnel between Ontario airport and the Rancho Cucamonga train station. Even better news is that this has attracted the attention of experienced and responsible tunnel builders:

As board member Janice Rutherford, a county supervisor, told me: “Apparently Boring is just not ready to deal with California bureaucracy/rules. Good news is that other tunnel companies have risen to the Elon challenge and are now offering more ideas and lower prices. So we’re talking to others.”

permalink | July 20, 2022 at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2022

California Cannabis Cultivation Tax Headed For Repeal

A trailer bill in Sacramento would, among other things, repeal the cannabis cultivation tax which is currently assessed against cultivators at the rate of $10.08/ounce of dried flower.

permalink | June 27, 2022 at 03:56 PM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2022

Death In Death Valley

Sounds like same ol', same ol', but not. David Kelleher [my age!] died trying to walk from the parking lot at Zabriskie Point to Furnace Creek. This foolishness was entirely survivable. I acknowledge it's June and we just had a heat wave, but Zabriskie Point is one of the more popular and easily accessible sites in the park, located right on state highway 190 that bisects the park, east to west. If you're out of gas at Zabriskie Point just sit and wait. Someone will be along eventually, even in June. There are the standard well-built toilets at Zabriskie Point that one could shelter in during daylight. Walking from Zabriskie Point to Furnace Creek is very do-able AT NIGHT. It's all downhill and nighttime temps are certainly below 100°(F), possibly even below 90°. Of course, while walking that route one should stay on the highway, on the chance that some other night traveller will come along in a motor vehicle. Once one gets to the gas station at Furnace Creek, one should wait to get a ride back to Zabriskie Point, since it's all going to be uphill in the return direction.

Kelleher left Zabriskie Point. His body was found about 2½ miles down highway 190, thirty feet from the pavement where he was hidden from view.

permalink | June 17, 2022 at 08:49 AM | Comments (0)

May 22, 2022

Neutra Homes In Silver Lake

A week ago I headed into Silver Lake for a tour of homes designed by Richard Neutra. It was part of Modernism Week which seems to take place three times a year now. This tour started at the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences at 2300 Silver Lake Boulevard. This was Neutra's home and office. There are nine homes designed by Neutra in the immediate neighborhood. The tour started with the interior of the Neutra VDL Studio, followed by a walk-by of the other homes, concluding with an interior tour of Reunion House at 2440 Earl Street, which the Neutra Institute took possession of just this past February. The complete set of photos is here. These are some samples:
Neutra VDL Studio and Residences (9933)
Neutra VDL Studio and Residences

Neutra VDL Studio and Residences (9948)
Neutra's remains are interred in the courtyard of the house

Neutra VDL Studio and Residences (9956)
The courtyard

Neutra VDL Studio and Residences (9962)

Neutra VDL Studio and Residences (9997)
They let us climb these apparently insubstantial stairs to the penthouse

Neutra VDL Studio and Residences (0106)
Balcony overlooking the courtyard

Neutra VDL Studio and Residences (0121)

Neutra VDL Studio and Residences (0141)
View from the penthouse

Sokol House - Neutra (0362)
The gate to the Sokol House at 2242 Silver Lake Boulevard

Inadomi, Kambara and Yew Houses - Neutra (2241)
L to R: the Inadomi, Kambara and Yew Houses
on Silver Lake Boulevard.

Inadomi and Kambara Houses - Neutra (0208)
The entrance area for the Inadomi and Kambara houses

Yew House - Neutra (0217)
Yew House
at 2226 Silver Lake Boulevard.

Ohara House - Neutra (0227)
Ohara House
at 2210 Neutra Place.

Reunion House - Neutra (0347)
Reunion House
at 2440 Earl Street.

Reunion House - Neutra (0280)
Reunion House

Reunion House - Neutra (0325)
Reunion House

Reunion House - Neutra (0331)
Reunion House

permalink | May 22, 2022 at 05:43 PM | Comments (1)

I opened up my Voter Guide

Joker Candidates For U.S. Senator From California

  • Obaidul Huq Pirjada submitted no text for the Official Voter Information Guide, but did list his contact information, including his website: https://sites.google.com/view/obaidul-huq-pirjada
    So, yeah, you have to type that whole thing in (or copy it from me). How can a candidate for office not realize the importance of a short, easily typed URL for their website? Pirjada.org was not taken. Go to his website and you'll see he lists his 19 goals and objectives. He includes no specifics for how he would accomplish any of these goals. For example, "1. To help Californians so that the grocery, gasoline and power (electricity) prices do not go up, rather to make sure the prices go down." Or, even better, "9. Help Central Valley farmers so that they may receive uninterrupted supply of water." Yeah, why hasn't anyone thought of that before? He's got a video on his site where he tells us he is an attorney. He reads his written statement badly, rarely looking at the camera. He seems to have difficulty reading, which is surprising considering he claims to be an attorney. What he reads is nearly the exact text that is displayed on his single-page site, so the only purpose of the video is to show what a poor, uncharismatic speaker he is.

  • Douglas Howard Pierce used to do someting, but now he's running for the Senate. He doesn't say what he used to do, but maybe he was a private investigator. "I took on the perils of solving homicides across the nation, including cold cases." He does not claim to have been with any law enforcement agency. Caution: something on his website triggers background music that I could stop only by refreshing the site. He has a "platform" with "SPECIAL MESSAGE BLACK-AFRICANS" which is blank except for a generic 17-second video that plays music and says nothing. It's the same for "SPECIAL MESSAGE REPUBLICAN" and "SPECIAL MESSAGE YOUNG VOTERS 18+" and "SPECIAL MESSAGE ASIAN AMERICANS" and "SPECIAL MESSAGE FOR SENIOR CITIZENS" and "MILITARY SERVICE - PROTECTORS OF FREEDOM" and "GREAT NATIVE INDIAN TRIBES." For "LGBTQ PRIDE AMERICANS" it's the same 17-second video, but he also throws in a couple images with rainbow colors and a photo of the L.A. LGBT Center. For "SPECIAL MESSAGE LATINO-HISPANIC" he translates the statement on the front page of his website into Spanish. He's got two YouTube videos. In the first, the phone follows behind him as he slowly limps towards a helicopter. He stops before he gets there, turns to the camera, does a weak little wave and then reaches out to take the phone from whoever is holding it. The other video is nothing but still images, including selfies, of him in Mexico.

  • John Thompson Parker is the Peace And Freedom candidate as well as the Socialist Unity Party candidate, according to his website. He doesn't have a lot of info on his website, but he does have four "Statements." Three of those express his support for Russia and his opposition to Ukraine in the current war there. So much for peace and freedom.

  • Dr. Akinyemi Agbede is one of those candidates who doesn't understand what a U.S. Senator is. "I will be focusing on ensuring that we invest the state’s revenues in the right policies and programs that help the common man," he says. He should run for state treasurer or maybe governor. He claims to have a "Ph. D. in Mathematical Analysis from the world most prestigious Ivy League University, University of Cambridge England, United Kingdom." Here is the list of Ivy League schools: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Yale. You may notice that all of these are in the United States. They don't travel to England to play American football against Cambridge. But this is the best sentence on his site: "[S]ince being in the United States, I have tremendously used my super genius brain to the benefit of the American students by instilling in them skills, confidence and competence in solving ANY Mathematical problems."

  • Chuck Smith is a Republican and might be smarter than most Republicans. While he does support the usual things Republicans falsely claim to support like limited government, restraint in taxation and fiscal responsibility, he avoids any racist statements or dog whistles. He says nothing about Trump or immigration.

  • Dr. Cordie Williams is also a Republican...and a chiropractor. He mentions being a doctor frequently, but only specifies he is a chiropractor once. COVID seems to be his top issue, but he's not specific about what he would do. He opposes Critical Race Theory. He thinks there is voter fraud, but is not specific. "Cordie will work with his California colleagues to end the current vote by mail system immediately." That's outside the scope of a U.S. Senator's job. Maybe he wants to be a state senator. He claims to be "the only military veteran who volunteered for combat." Let's just call that an obvious lie. On the subject of homelessness "Dr. Cordie is committed to creating a task force to study these issues and finally help." Oh, a task force! Does that come with electricity, running water and a lockable door? He wants to restrict property ownership to citizens and legal residents. He is endorsed by the California Tea Party Caucus.

  • Don J. Grundmann is officially no party preference, but on his website he says he running as the Constitution Party candidate. His top issue seems to be homophobia - he's all for it. His website is not much more than bigotry and a lot of broken links.

  • Eleanor Garcia is also no party preference, but is the elected leader of the Socialist Workers Party. She has no campaign website, but simply points to themilitant.com where we learn that the SWP is supportive of Ukraine and opposed to the Russian invasion so, therefore, more sane than Socialist Unity Party.

  • Mark P. Meuser, Republican, fought to let COVID run rampant. He's got the Republican Party endorsement, so that tells you quite a bit. "Meuser is a prolific reader, on average reading one book a week." I'm not sure he knows the meaning of "prolific."

  • James Conn, Green Party. He wants us to stop using wood. Yes, really. "Before the abolition of slavery our country collected taxes on the sale of slaves. That money still exists in our federal reserves." Wow! The little I can find about a sales tax on slaves indicates that tax would have been levied by the state or local government, not the federal government. He supports free medical treatment for Type 1 diabetes (the kind one is born with), but he says nothing about Type 2.

permalink | May 22, 2022 at 05:13 PM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2022

Mountain Lion M317

The track of a young male mountain lion since he was collared in March 2022.
Mountain lion track

News story here. He has managed to traverse the 5, 241 and 91 freeways! The news article says there are no female mountain lions in the area, as if humans have 100% perfect knowledge of the location of all mountain lions. I think what they mean to say is that we don't know of any female lions in the area, but the article suggests there are other males in the area. One wonders how and why there are so many male lions in the area if there isn't even one female?

UPDATE: M317 spotted in Newport Beach.

Mountain lion seen in Port Streets is captured

By City News Service and Hunter Lee

A mountain lion spotted roaming around the Port Streets neighborhood in Newport Beach, the same cat seen earlier this month in Laguna Beach, was captured on Friday [May 20, 2022]. The cougar was seen in the community near Andersen Elementary School on Friday afternoon, according to Newport Beach police.

The school was put on alert while authorities searched for the mountain lion, which authorities believed to be M317, a collared cat that was seen in Laguna Beach earlier this month and at an Irvine shopping center in late March. The cougar is one being tracked by a UC Davis research group.

On Friday evening, Tim Daly of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed the Newport Beach visitor was, in fact, M317.

“The lion appears to be healthy, and is currently being transported to nearest suitable habitat, in the Santa Ana Mountains,” Daly said.

Christy Labarthe, a Port Streets resident, said she was aware that a mountain lion was in the area after receiving several alerts from authorities. She moved her dogs indoors and kept her eye on the backyard.

Around 1 p.m., Labarthe noticed a tree rustling from something that was “definitely bigger than a squirrel.”

It was the mountain lion, she realized — a big one.

“It appeared to have blood near its leg, probably from a tranquilizer dart,” Labarthe said. “It was up and walking around my backyard, jumping on and off the (embankment) for awhile, before it finally started falling asleep.

“My dogs were barking the whole time,” she added.

Labarthe waited for authorities to arrive. Once they

did, they confirmed the lion had been shot with a dart, and after about an hour, the cougar was removed from her yard.

Drones were used to aid in the search, Daly said. And after sheltering in place, the Andersen students were safely picked up, said Annette Franco, a spokeswoman for the Newport- Mesa Unified School District.

Though M317 has been hanging around for at least a couple of months, officials believe the recent Coastal Fire in Laguna Beach may have pushed some wildlife from their natural habitats into urban areas.

Anyone seeing a mountain lion should stand tall and wave their arms above their head, make noise, act defiant and unafraid — and slowly back away.

permalink | May 21, 2022 at 09:43 AM | Comments (0)

May 15, 2022

That Was A Nice Slam!

Heard it coming. Felt it coming. And then it came. Most distinctive slam of an earthquake that I've ever felt. It didn't sound like I had any damage. It was small, but sharp. I'll get you the numbers as they become available.

It was in Long Canyon, within walking distance (a long walk). 4.27 miles (6.87 km) from me, measured on a direct line according to Google. Some boulders have moved.

USGS info. Currently estimated at 3.8. Noticeable.

permalink | May 15, 2022 at 11:20 PM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2022

Real Livestock Return To L.A. County Fair

I've thought that the absence of genuine, California farm livestock at the L.A. County Fair to be a form of surreal entertainment. The fair does have livestock of all the usual kinds, but they've been hired actors. Now, the Press-Enterprise reports that the fair is bringing back real livestock with actual competitions. They even want to bring back the 4-H and FFA. The article says the fair has gone 15 years without genuine livestock, but it says nothing about how that came about. Did somebody forget to invite the cows and pigs one year?

permalink | May 13, 2022 at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)

May 6, 2022

States With A Population Lower Than That Of Los Angeles County

States With A Population Lower Than That Of Los Angeles County

permalink | May 6, 2022 at 01:37 PM | Comments (0)

April 30, 2022

Disney PR Chief Out

Geoff Morrell has resigned after just three months as the top person in charge of public relations and government affairs.

“After three months in this new role, it has become clear to me that for a number of reasons it is not the right fit,” Morrell said in a Friday email to staff. “After talking this over with [Chief Executive Bob Chapek], I have decided to leave the company to pursue other opportunities.”

As chief corporate affairs officer, Morrell not only oversaw the company’s public relations but also was responsible for its dealings with government and its environmental and social responsibility strategies.

permalink | April 30, 2022 at 07:14 AM | Comments (0)

April 14, 2022

Voting By District

Here in Desert Hot Springs the city is going through the same process that Mission Springs Water District and Desert Water Agency have already gone through; that is, switching from at-large elections to election by district after receiving a demand letter from whatever law firm that is taking advantage of this process. There have been those who have suggested the city should ignore the demand or fight it. Santa Clarita thought they could fight it, got sued, and have now agreed to settle by paying the plaintiff $370,000 and they still have to switch to voting by district. If they had simply gone along with the demand while also flushing $370,000 down a toilet, the result would be the same for the city.

permalink | April 14, 2022 at 05:20 PM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2022

"Californians Explain Why They Left For Texas"

The Onion.

permalink | March 25, 2022 at 11:35 AM | Comments (0)

March 21, 2022

Republican Candidate For California Secretary of State

“I’ve been a prophetic dreamer so I had spent a lot of 2019 and 20 having a lot of political dreams that I was in office,” said Hamm. “And because our youngest son Ezekiel is a seer I went and got him and I said, ‘Hey, can you look around and see what you’re seeing?’

“Because I just really, I get a kick out of hearing him describe, you know, what he sees? And then he goes into the closet – which is where I had been when I was praying – and he said, ‘Whoa,’ and his eyes got like, big as saucers.

“And he kind of like started backing away, and then started bending down and he said, ‘You’ve got a really big guy in your closet, and his power is pushing me to the ground,’ and we had never had … he’d never had that reaction ever, to an angel.

“And so I’m like, is he’s for us, not against us, right? ‘He’s full of light, I can’t even see his face.’ And then he said, ‘and he has a scroll in his hand.’

“And so I was like, then he came with a message, what is the message, and the message was a commissioning. So at the very end, I asked him what his name was. ‘What angel is this?’ you know?

“And he said, ‘Immanuel,’ That wasn’t an angel. It wasn’t an angel that was Jesus himself. And so that’s why I’m running for secretary of state.”

Hamm has been endorsed by Michael Flynn and Mike Lindell.

permalink | March 21, 2022 at 07:27 AM | Comments (0)

March 8, 2022

The 88 Cities of Los Angeles County

This will start you at 6:10 where they begin to list the 88 cities in order by date of incorporation. If you want to see the whole video, just go back to the start.

permalink | March 8, 2022 at 03:24 PM | Comments (0)

February 9, 2022

More 10 Freeway

Photo by Anas Hinde.
The 10 freeway heading into downtown Los Angeles
. This is a reverse point-of-view compared to the photo I posted a couple of weeks ago, and by a different photographer.

permalink | February 9, 2022 at 04:42 PM | Comments (0)

December 29, 2021

Venice Beach Live Cam

permalink | December 29, 2021 at 04:38 PM | Comments (0)